Consumerization of Healthcare Puts Power in Patients’ Hands

By Heather Munro, freelance writer focusing on emerging technology. 

Today’s patients seem to be paying for more of their own healthcare than ever. As a result, they’re more empowered to act more like customers—customers who are frustrated with typical provider delays and inefficiencies. After all, when you’re footing the bill, you expect good customer service.

Unsurprisingly, the competition for care is heating up, with walk-in clinics, urgent care centers and digital-based healthcare services meeting consumers’ demands for convenience and quality. Companies such as Amazon and CVS Health are taking things even further, with plans to disrupt how healthcare is delivered.  CVS’ pharmacies acquired insurance provider Aetna and plans to focus on managing common chronic conditions, beefing up primary health services at CVS' MinuteClinics and guiding discharged hospital patients through their at-home plans.

Meanwhile, Amazon is jumping with both feet into the healthcare arena, entering into an agreement to acquire online pharmacy PillPack and launching a health venture with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. designed to lower costs and improve care for the more than 1 million individuals who get health insurance from the three firms.

Livongo CEO Glen Tullman sat down with HIMSS TV to explain how the traditional healthcare system model is giving way to one that empowers consumers to make their own healthcare decisions. To learn more, watch Consumer-oriented access to healthcare is a patient expectation.


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